Vermont Lifestyle

We're expecting magnificent foliage this year!

Photo credit: Elliot Rocheleau

 

Fall is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times of the year in Vermont. We're known to have some of the best, and most vibrant foliage in the entire nation! With the season quickly approaching, we're anticipating an especially magnificent array this year.

 

A mild summer with rain early on, and tapering in the later months has set the stage for near perfect foliage, according to Jim Salge of Yankee Magazine. In fact, he claims "It's the most optimistic forecast I've had in a couple of years!

With foliage set to peak in our area at the end of September and early weeks of October, we have a lot to look forward to this year. There are lots of fun fall activities for the entire family that will allow you to really take in the color. Some of our favorites include apple picking, pumpkin picking, foliage hikes and family corn mazes.

 

We'd love to see photos of the foliage in your area! Please send photos to our Marketing Director to be featured on our Facebook page!

 

 

 

 

Grill marinades to make your BBQ the talk of the neighborhood

There's still plenty of summer left, and that means there will more barbecues and fun gatherings to be had this season! We have 2 delicious marinade recipes to take your upcoming cookout to the next level. Enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients: 

- 1 Cup crushed pineapple

- 1/3 Cup soy sauce or coconut aminos

- 1/3 Cup honey

- 1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar

- 1-2 Cloves crushed garlic

- 1 Tablespoon fresh crushed ginger

- 1/2 Teaspon crushed cloves

- 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional - adjust to taste)

Directions: 

Mix honey, cider vinegar and pineapple juice together thoroughly. Add other ingredients individually making sure that each spice is well combined and thoroughly dissolved. 

For chicken or pork: thoroughly coat meat and refrigerate for 6-8 hours in marinade. Bake or grill and enjoy!

For fish or vegetables: Coat in marinade and allow to sit for no longer than 30 minutes before baking, grilling or sauteing. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients: 

- 1 Cup red wine vinegar

- 1/2 Cup olive oil

- 1/4 Cup worcestershire sauce

- 1/4 Cup brown sugar

- 4 Cloves crushed garlic

- 2 Tablespoons paprika

- 1 Tablespoon sea salt

- 2 Teaspoons ground black pepper

- 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (Optional - adjust to taste)

 

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients, combining thoroughly. Place brisket in plastic bag or tupperwear container and coat with marinade. Refrigerate for up to 14 hours (the longer the better!) before grilling. Feel free to add any of the dry ingredients directly to the meat before grilling. Prepare to allow the brisket around 5 hours to cook (internal temperature should reach at least 195 degrees). The less you flip the meat, the better. Cook it on slow heat and let it be. Enjoy!

Tick Prevention Tips

In recent years, ticks have become a big nuisance in Vermont. We've put together some facts about these pests to keep you safe while you enjoy the outdoors this summer. We've thrown in some prevention tips and information to help if you find one on yourself or your pets. 

What are ticks anyway?

Ticks are parasitic creatures of the arachnid family; they have 4 long legs on either side of their rounded body. Thankfully they cannot jump or fly, but they do crawl onto hosts to feed. Ticks spread Lyme Disease, which can cause serious, long-term issues for the infected person or animal. 

Where do ticks live?

Tall grass, shrubs, wooded areas and low brush are havens for ticks. If you're going for a hike, be sure to keep as much skin covered as possible, and stay near the center of the trail to decrease exposure. Hunters should be warned that ticks also live on other animals, such as deer, and will move from the animal to a human if given the opportunity. According to the CDC, it is best to use a bug spray, or combination of lemon and eucalyptus oil to discourage ticks from biting. 

How do I avoid getting a tick?

In addition to keeping as much skin covered as possible, you should avoid walking in tall grassy areas as much as possible. Rake and remove loose leaves from your yard, and clear away any tall grass or brush that you can. Placing wood chips or gravel between any shrubbery and your yard will provide a barricade and keep ticks away. Make sure to keep play areas away from shrubs and vegetation. 

If you've spent any time hiking, hunting, or in known tick havens, wash your clothes in hot water and shower as soon as possible. The CDC suggests that showering within 2 hours of possible tick exposure reduces your risk of contracting Lyme Disease. Do a thorough tick check while you're at it; they love to hide so be sure to check your hair, ears and in between fingers and toes. 

If ticks are of major concern, tick repelling chemicals are available to homeowners. According to the CDC, one application of acaricide during the spring time reduces the tick population by 68-100%. Pest control companies will be able to assess your property and give you a personalized suggestion to best deal with the threat of ticks. 

What if I find a tick?

If you discover a tick on yourself or a loved one, take a pair of tweezers or a tick removing tool, and pinch the tick as close to the head as possible. Pull straight back, doing your best to remove the entire pest, and most importantly, the head. If you are unable to do this yourself, go to a doctor's office as soon as possible. 

If you've been bitten by a tick, be alert to any rashes, pains or fevers that develop in the subsequent days and weeks. If anything seems unusual, see your doctor immediately. Lyme Disease is an infection with chronic, and potentially debilitating, life long symptoms. It is best to air on the side of caution and have yourself tested for Lyme Disease at the time of exposure. 

How do I keep my pets safe?

Unfortunately, pets love to play in areas that are appealing to ticks. Ask your vet about oral and topical medications for dogs and cats that will aid in tick prevention. There are also collars and shampoos available which are effective prevention supplements. It's best to check your pet for ticks daily during the spring and summer to be safe. 

We hope these facts and tips are helpful to you! 

 

 

Help Us Fight Hunger This Holiday Season!

 

The Signature Team has organized a food drive to fight hunger in Chittenden County this holiday season!

We're thrilled to be giving back to the community which offers us so much support year round. If you'd like to participate, please stop by our office with donations, or to pick up donation bags for your business. 

***One participant will win a $50 The Farmhouse Tap & Grill gift card!

Feel free to contact our Office Manager, Jarah LaRock with any questions! She can be reached at (802) 872-8881. 

Thank you for your continued support! Together we can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Donations benefit the Vermont Foodbank and Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf.

2015 COTS Walk

Support the Signature Team in this year's COTS Walk!

 

The Community On Temporary Housing provides homeless, and marginally housed, members of our community with the support they need to get back on their feet.

 

Homelessness is a cause that is near and dear to us at Signature Properties. We are committed to raising as much as we can for this great cause. If you are able and willing to donate to our team, you may do so here. No donation is too small, and all encouragement is greatly appreciated.

 

Together we will make a difference. 

 

Condo Living - What Millenials and Boomers Need to Know

 

Condominium living is especially appealing to millenials breaking into home ownership as well as baby boomers ready to downsize. Owning a condo is a great way to build equity and benefit of the tax incentives without all of the maintenance and upkeep associated  with home ownership.

There are some downsides to owning a condo that you should be aware of in advance. Some homeowners association rules may be an unpleasant surprise for many millennials. For boomers, living in a building or being a part of a community and abiding by the restrictions could be a challenge, particularly after owning a single-family home for many years.

Here are some of the common rules that may come as a surprise to millenials and baby boomers alike:

Your hardwood floors will need to be at least partially covered

Living in close proximity to neighbors isn't for everyone. Millennials likely have a recent experience with communal living, either in a dorm room, a rental building or even back in their parents' home. For boomers who have lived under their own roof for many years, this could be a shock to the system. Imagine what it would be like to live in a building full of hardwood floors and little-to-no carpet to absorb the noise of shoes, pets and children.

For this exact reason, almost every multi-story condominium will require owners to partially cover their hard floors. If you're dreaming of hardwood floors, you'll want to check the homeowners association rules before tearing up any carpeting.

You can't use your parking space for storage

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the parking space that comes with your unit may only be used as such. Even for those (especially millenials) who opt out of owning a vehicle, the parking space rule stands. Yes it may be tempting to turn your space into a storage unit, but it will likely not fly with the condo association. Part of the role of an association is to maintain a neat, orderly aesthetic - parking spaces filled with lawn furniture, garage equipment and the like will not qualify.

There will be noise restrictions

Many condo rules specify that between certain hours occupants must not interfere with other owners' quiet enjoyment. This rule is frequently enforced and is likely music to the ears of a boomer concerned with leaving their private, quiet, single-family home for community living. For a millennial who is still within striking distance of their party years and the noise that comes with it, this is a big consideration.

When you're looking at condos, take note of how the building was constructed. Is there concrete between the floors, or is it all wood? Listen for noises coming from other units and think about how that will affect you - and likewise, how your noise will affect your neighbors.

Your pets might not be welcome

Until they're well into the real estate search, few people realize that many condo buildings have pet restrictions. Restrictions regarding the type and number of pets exist in nearly every condo development.

Year after year, buyers have had to forego great apartments simply because of a pet. Knowing this before you get too involved in the real estate process will help soften the blow when you discover that Fido isn't welcome -- a potential shot to the heart of both the boomer and the millennial. If your pets are part of the family, fear not, there are plenty of associations who do allow for them - you just need to read the rule book carefully to avoid compliance issues.

Renting may  not be allowed

Many condo boards have restrictions on the number of rentals allowed in the association. Having too high a percentage of renters makes it harder for new buyers to get a loan, and homeowners believe that owners who are present have more of a vested interest in caring for the building than a tenant, who has much less at stake. Finally, if you've been dreaming of making some extra cash with short-term rentals, you better check the condo's rules and restrictions first, as some will forbid such rentals.

Bottom line: Find out the rule on renting, as well as the current percentage of renters, before you buy.

Know before you go

If you're not ready to give in to some of the restrictions that come with condo ownership, you might want to reconsider. While some homeowners associations are more lenient than others, you should go into a condo purchase with eyes wide open. Rules are made for a reason, and you should expect them to be enforced.

Before making an offer, take the time to thoroughly go through all of the association documents and really think about how they will apply to your lifestyle. It may be hard to turn down a unit you're in love with, but it'll be even harder to deal with the consequences of rule enforcement and tailoring your life to fit.